If you have been wondering just how bad the world economy is, a story from MSN Money about Wal-Mart becoming less “welcoming” may enlighten. According to the story, the US’s biggest private employer is shifting their greet staff to other chores. In a cost cutting effort to optimize efficiency, the company Sam Walton built may have become a tad less friendly – maybe even viable?
The late shift at all those super-centers across the nation just got one key person shorthanded, the famous discount chain has already shifted many of their 10 p.m.-to-7 a.m. shift employees into other departments such as stocking, and etc. It’s no secret that Wal.Mart’s sales have been stymied in all but one of the last ten quarters. This subtle, yet broad personnel change, may indicate bigger moves to come if the discount giant’s sales don’t climb.
Meanwhile, amid mediocre financial expectations from the low cost giant, there is news reflecting how real value sometimes rises to the top. The recent news that Apple, a company notorious for high end versus low end products having become the world’s most profitable brand – well, Wal-Mart dropping any value, in the face of Apple quadrupling the Walton family’s money machine – this is another kind of indicator. For one thing, luxury products selling out everywhere, measured against budget basement commodities offered by Wal-Mart, speaks a bit of class struggle perhaps? It’s actually amazing, given the data on Wal-Mart’s effect on the American economy and community, this has not already happened.
Wal-Mart losing money. Cutting jobs perhaps. For many people in the US, even the collapse of this conglomerate would signal a shot in the arm for America – the company having led a worldwide exodus to manufacture products in China and other cheap labor markets. One has to wonder about customer loyalty here, and the symbolism of greeters being shoved back into the box cutting area of the store.
Then too, an evident re-emergence of manufacturing in the US, this may open the door for companies like JC Penny to gain ground on a store that was once famous for “Made In America” – back when the slogan was a popular selling point. Penny, interestingly, looks to become an Apple Store itself. Reading news from the Epoch Times concerning Wal-Mart, maybe 300 million Americans should shift their brand loyalty?
Somewhere in the middle ground in between the cheapest possible junk American shoppers can fill their attics and garages with (and clothes likely made by some child 12,000 miles away) – and the upscale iPad, iPhone, and Mac retailer – there is a common ground where America and American’s may yet emerge from this economic debacle. With any idea where craftsmanship, patriotism, and common sense blend into a real economy booster resides – there’s hope a 100 year old hourly Wal-Mart greeter’s only job will be a well deserved vacation from here on out – some volunteer work at the beach or local gymnasium, perhaps.
There’s your new-found corporate strategy Ron Johnson, we needn’t see any more Kodak or Sears economic moments in the good ole USA. Wal-Mart greeters? Well, they surely deserve a better shake than stocking cans of Pork & Beans for eternity. Phil out for now.